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Interfaith Centre

The Interfaith Centre is a community hub on campus where inclusivity is standard, questions are always welcome, and the differences between people and cultures are explored and celebrated.

We remain committed to supporting student success and our staff and chaplains are available to assist you in person or virtually. If you need spiritual support, please contact a member of our team or email us.

Email Student Engagement

Meet the Interfaith Centre team

Our chaplains serve on a volunteer, part-time basis and represent a variety of different faith communities.

Art Kung

As a SAIT alumnus, Art enjoyed a life of adventure in the air ambulance industry — bringing help and hope to some critical scenarios over the years.

His intense career experiences stirred in him difficult questions of life and death, meaning and purpose. Art says his journey has led him through a "theology of grace" into deeper spirituality, community and conviction.

What's a chaplain?

Oooo, great question. I feel it means different things to people. Some would look to us as pastors or priests with whom they can find like-minded community and spiritual guidance. Others are looking for a safe place to ask questions and gain perspective. Essentially, I guess we’re sounding boards — people who can speak encouragement and offer perspective.

Ask me about...

Anything! I absolutely love: hockey (sports in general, but come on, I'm Canadian), coffee (fresh, hand-ground in my office or in my "second office", The Odyssey), technology (ask me about my watch), family (I'm blessed with the best wife and son in the history of the world), spirituality (meaning and purpose — for me, the answers are nestled deep in my own faith journey), food and culture, the list goes on.

What does interfaith mean to me?

To me, interfaith is about not merely tolerating different faiths or non-faith but finding ways to celebrate each other while recognizing the differences.

Contact

art.kung@sait.ca
403.542.0414
Monday to Friday, 9 am - 4 pm

Tim Nethercott

Before becoming ordained in the United Church of Canada, Tim had careers in book publishing, teaching English and with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Tim describes himself as a "religious mongrel," since he was raised in the Evangelical church and spent a number of years in the Roman Catholic world. Like many young people, he became "allergic" to his own faith tradition in his 20s and left the Church for several years. He practiced Buddhism for two years, then finally returned to his own religious tradition.

He was formed for ministry at Queens University in the Canadian tradition of the Social Gospel, which places a high value on the struggle for social justice. Tim is a vigorous LGBTQ advocate.

What's a chaplain?

A chaplain is a religious leader who works in a public institution rather than in a faith community like a church or a synagogue. Chaplains attempt to bring the spiritual wisdom of their faith tradition to the overall culture of the institution they serve and to individuals who seek them out for support.

Ask me about...

LGBTQ people and Christianity. The United Church of Canada, in which I am ordained, has been on the path of affirming sexual and gender minorities for over 30 years.

What does interfaith mean to me?

It means having the humility to learn from people of other traditions. I find that one of the best ways to learn about my own faith tradition is to interact with people of other traditions.

Contact

tim.nethercott@sait.ca
403.202.0180
Tuesdays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Cristino Bouvette

What's a chaplain?

I'm still figuring that out! Although I’ve been a priest for seven years and have always remained connected with university students and young adults, I’m still learning about the best way to serve people at this stage of their life on and off-campus.

Ask me about...

Food and climbing. I have a very large Italian family on my mother's side, so I basically grew up in a kitchen. In the last five years, I have discovered rock climbing and am a proud member of the Calgary Climbing Centre community.

What does interfaith mean to me?

The freedom to explore the meaning of life and who (if anyone) decided we should be here is the most enriching experience of being human. Faith traditions give us a way to consider these important topics, and when doing so side by side we learn to look and listen together.

Contact

cristino.bouvette@sait.ca
403.463.2133
Fridays, 10 am – 2 pm
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Imam Fayaz Tilly

Imam Fayaz Tilly attended the Institute of Higher Islamic Learning in Buffalo, New York, where he memorized the Holy Qur'an and acquired knowledge of the basic Islamic sciences. Upon becoming a Hafiz (one who has successfully memorized the Qur'an), he enrolled in the seven-year course of Islamic Sciences at Darul-Uloom.

After completing his degree (masters equivalency) in 2002, he returned to Canada to serve the Muslim community of Calgary, Alberta. Imam Fayaz is the founder and director of Tahfeez-ul-Quran, a Quranic memorization program in Calgary.

Contact

Fayaz.tilly@sait.ca
403.681.7834
Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 am – 3 pm (by appointment only)

Headshot of Reverend Margaret

Born and raised in Calgary, Margaret completed her post-secondary at U of A and Augustana University and her MDiv. In Saskatoon. Ordained into the Lutheran church, she serves not only as chaplain, but also a pastor of Historic Trinity Lutheran Church downtown. Although she’s not an athlete herself, she loves watching her children play sports and seeing them excel with gifts so differently from her own. Margaret loves the arts, especially painting, ceramics, stained glass, jewelry, sculpture, and architecture.

What is a Chaplain?

Depends on who you talk to... For me, it’s a person trained to provide Spiritual Care for people in the institution you work for. At SAIT, this would include students, staff, faculty, and alumni of SAIT. But the truth of the matter is that my position is funded by my faith community, and my faith community would expand the demographic to include the wider community and beyond. So, the question might be, what is Spiritual Care? For me, spiritual care is providing care and support for an individual’s sense of meaning, and purpose through either their relationship to the divine (God) and the World. This includes others through community, with ourselves, and with creation (nature). Sometimes we do this through rituals, being in community with others, introspection, and experiencing beauty and joy. I can’t say I have any answers, but certainly can provide a listening ear and resources to support others who are wanting to explore, or continue in their spiritual life.

Ask me about...

Anything… But I probably won’t have much to tell you because I prefer to listen. I love listening to the story of others and hearing what God is up to in the lives of others. But I can probably talk your ear off about my beloved pet Sam, a bearded dragon who went missing for 3 weeks this summer and survived our suburban neighborhood filled with magpies, cats, and hawks!

What does interfaith mean to me?

It’s the intentional conversation, understanding and work different faith groups do to manifest the goodness of one another and the world. This goes beyond just tolerating one another, but acknowledging the need and value of the different traditions, understandings and faiths that divide us so we no longer ‘other’ one another. In seeing and valuing the beauty of another, we can also see and value the beauty of our own traditions more fully.

Contact

margaret.propp@sait.ca
403.471.9895
Fridays, 2 - 5 pm

Interfaith Centre student leaders

Our student leaders assist with the development and delivery of Interfaith Centre programming and events. We are currently hiring new student leaders for the 2022/2023 academic year. Learn more about current Interfaith Centre student leadership opportunities and to apply.

Profile photo of Adrian Oida

"My name is Adrian Oida, I am a social butterfly, pursuing the business administration program at SAIT. I was born in the Philippines, lived in BC for a couple of years, then moved to Alberta. Since then, I have been raised in Canada as a believer in Roman Catholicism.

My hobbies include listening to music, stargazing, outdoor activities, and learning new things. With the help of chaplains, I desire to develop wisdom and positive solution-based thinking as an interfaith student leader.

I strive to improve my cultural awareness, critical thinking and applied knowledge to succeed in a diverse team. Learning about the cultures around me is exciting. I feel that I can accomplish many goals when we embrace diversity to overcome the challenges we face today."

Profile photo of Basanta Dahal

"Hi! I am Basanta Dahal. I was born in Nepal, and I am currently attending SAIT College pursuing a Business Administration Diploma. My interest in Business began as a teenager when I started looking at company websites and made my first investments in the stock market and cryptocurrencies.

I enjoy being outside and I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and mountain climbing. As I am writing this bio, I am in the middle of the Grassi Lake Trail. Apart from being passionate about the outdoors, I’m also interested in leadership and cultural pursuits. I'd like to learn more about and have experience with diverse religious and cultural norms. My primary guiding principle for being a member of the Interfaith family is to experience and understand the diversity we have and to assist others, especially my colleagues and the Chaplains, with the knowledge I gain from my time in the Centre.

I am thrilled to be a part of SAIT's Interfaith Centre and hope that I will have the opportunity to learn about the cultural and religious backgrounds of my fellow students. So, whether you encounter me at an Interfaith Centre or elsewhere in the world, don't be afraid to talk to me about your experiences and cultural beliefs."

Profile photo of Jinky Potencioso

"Hello! I’m Jinky Potencioso a second-year student of Business Administration program majoring in management here at SAIT. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and I just recently moved in Calgary with my family. I am happily married and blessed with two adorable sons. I enjoy listening to music, watching movies, and taking care of my kids.

I am a Roman Catholic by religion, but I always believe that every religion and beliefs are connected and relates on our relationship to one another. It is how we respect life and the people around us.

I am delighted to join Interfaith Centre at SAIT, it gives me a chance to learn more about different religions, religious practices, and celebrations. I look forward to discovering more about life perspectives and faith and excited to have fun connecting with everyone!"

"Hi! Nice to meet you all. My name is Reetsharan Singh, and I am an international student from India and pursuing my Business Administration Diploma. I wanted to know more about business structure since my school days and found accountancy as one of the ways to know about it so I took my major in Accounting.

I am also a big fan of Anime and pass my time watching Anime or Reading Manga. I also enjoy playing basketball, listening to music, a bit of photography and some casual stuff to pass my time. I am always up for a chat if you guys ever find me in the interfaith Centre or anywhere around SAIT, or even in the city. I will be more than happy to have a talk as I can talk about for a good time on the clock. As I am writing my biography for you guys to read, I am already feeling a connection and I hope we will be connected through our dialogues or by some other way.

I have been around for almost a year now and have gotten to know a lot of people here and in the Interfaith Centre. I am ready to dive into a new chapter of my life and will be in the Interfaith Centre nearly every day of the week, so come on in, and have a talk or hang out. Don’t feel awkward or shy to ask me about my beliefs, my culture, or any other questions that come up."

What's on at the Interfaith Centre

Interfaith schedule of services

Weekly Activity Time/ Location Description
Tuesday Christian Prayer Noon to 1 pm in Interfaith Meeting Space, MC311 All are welcome to join our Christian community in weekly prayers for our campus, city, nation and world.
Friday Jummah Prayer Noon to 2 pm in Interfaith Meeting Space, MC311 Prayer times vary, please check the current local calendar.
Friday Interfaith Interface 1:30 to 2:30 pm in Interfaith Centre, MB305 Interfaith interface is a safe, inclusive and inspiring activity where students from different spiritual backgrounds and diverse cultures come together to engage in thought-provoking dialogue where weekly topics reflect diverse religious calendar events and current global and local issues.
Monthly Activity Time/ Location Description
Sept. 19 International Day of Peace 11 am - 2 pm in Macdonald Hall Walk SAIT's Labyrinth and share a moment of peace in celebration of the International Day of Peace. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations, and in 2001, was designated as a day of nonviolence and cease-fire. The UN invites all nations and people to honour and commemorate the day with a cessation of hostilities and to increase educational and public awareness on issues related to peace. Come experience the Labyrinth and exchange thoughts over a cup of coffee/tea and Peace Cookies.
Oct. 24 Diwali 11 am – 1 pm in Interfaith Centre, MB305 Diwali is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. Celebrated by more than a billion people across faiths, this five-day festival of lights brings prayer, feasts, fireworks and, for some, a new year. Join us in a festive celebration and spread a little more light at SAIT!
Nov. 16 Interfaith Centre Open House 11 am – 1 pm in The Interfaith Centre MB305 The Interfaith Centre is finally celebrating its relocation to MB305 with a Drop-In Open House. If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit the space, now’s the perfect time to drop in and explore the beautiful new space and meet others who love and support this student service. Bring your friends and come join us for coffee, tea and snacks as we celebrate together.
Dec. 7 Candy Cane Christmas Concert 11 am – 1 pm in Irene Lewis Atrium Our annual concert for Christmas will have live performers, hot chocolate and of course, lots of candy canes. Come join in the festivities for the season and spread some cheer.
Jan. 20 Lunar New Year Parade 11 am – 1 pm starting in the Stan Grad Centre  Ring in the Lunar New Year with a traditional Lion dance parade — starting in the Stan Grad Centre at 11:30 am. The parade route will move from Stan Grad to Senator Burns, then on to the Aldred Centre, and finish in the Johnson-Cobbe Centre. Join us in welcoming the zodiac animal of 2023, the Rabbit!
Feb. 7 World Interfaith Harmony Week
Labyrinth Walk
11 am – 2 pm in MacDonald Hall  Every year for the week of Feb. 1 - 7, the United Nations initiative for World Interfaith Harmony Week is celebrated and provides a platform for dialogue based on two fundamental beliefs embraced by various world religions and the non-religious alike, "Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbour." Join our Interfaith Chaplains for personal dialogue about such things, walk the SAIT Labyrinth and enjoy some coffee, tea and snacks as we celebrate together how we can better be the Good and Love our Neighbour.

Looking for older issues? Email us!

Sign up for the Interfaith mailing list so you don't miss out on our monthly newsletter, news about events and support for SAIT's interfaith community!

Interfaith interface is a safe, inclusive and inspiring activity where students from different spiritual backgrounds and diverse cultures come together to engage in thought-provoking dialogue. Sharing and learning from one another can help to enhance our sense of purpose and better understand our place in the bigger picture. We look forward to seeing you there!

Kick-start a classroom conversation about ethics, religion, diversity, cross cultural communication and more with help from one or all of our chaplains. Book a session for your class through student.engagement@sait.ca.

Our interfaith chaplains work collaboratively within SAIT to provide support for staff and students dealing with the loss of a colleague or classmate. Contact the Interfaith Centre for more information.

If you need accommodation for religious observance, complete the online request form a minimum of 10 days prior to the observance. Requests will be accommodated if they qualify. Please note: this is should not be considered time off, but rather time in lieu. Students are still responsible for the content given in missed classes and any missed lab work, exams, or other assignments. If an accommodation is granted, students will work with their instructor(s) to ensure that they still meet all course requirements.

Community spaces

Please note: All of our community spaces are currently unavailable for use or booking due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Everyone is welcome at the Interfaith Centre. We invite you to:

  • drop by the Interfaith Centre anytime for a chat — MB305, Stan Grad Centre, 9 am - 4 pm 
  • take a deep breath in our Interfaith Meditation Room — MB314, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm 
  • host a group chat in our Interfaith Meeting Space — MC311, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm 

Connect with us

Sign up for the Interfaith mailing list so you don't miss out on our monthly newsletter, news about events and support for SAIT's interfaith community!

Questions?

Contact us at
Student Engagement
student.engagement@sait.ca

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